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  1. #1
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    Can this steel frame be used? Paint scratch pattern - structural damage?

    The frame/fork is an old inexpensive Peugot Limestone hybrid that I found in a free pile on the side of the rode. Steel, Cro-Mo, made in Taiwan. If you saw the paint damage below, would you stay away from this frame? Or do you think it's ok for a cheap single-speed commuter? The frame is straight, no twists, buckles, dents, or other noticeable damage.

    DSC00629.jpgDSC00630.jpgDSC00631.jpg

    Tags: Cro-Mo, chromoly, chromo, steel, paint damage, frame scratches, frame stress
    Last edited by pratt61799; 05-13-12 at 08:33 PM. Reason: (typo, add tags)

  2. #2
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be worried about the paint but about the frame. If the frame doesn't have dings and isn't bent in some fashion, then you may have a semi-worthwhiproject bike on your hands. Still it probably isn't worth fixing up unless you have a room full of bike parts lying around . . . Otherwise just buy something from craigslist and save yourself the headache.

  3. #3
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    As long as you don't put any folding money into it, It's probably OK. The only possible issue I see with the frame is that line of rust at the weld on the top tube. I'd sand that down to bare metal just to make sure it hasn't eteched too deeply.

    Assuming it passes that test, and you have enough used junk laying around, then you might build yourself a beater bike, because that's the most it'll ever be. However, if you have to spend any dough, then you're probably better off buying a used complete bike and fixing that up.

    OTOH- if this a case where the journey is as important as the destination, then go ahead and have fun with it.
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    Thanks for the tips - will sand down the rust and at the joint and make sure it's not too deep.

    I do have the parts I need for it lying around (from other projects), so no, no cash outlay, and very little hassle. I've never had a single speed before, and would like to have one for the summer; this seems like as good a candidate as any.

  5. #5
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    Hmm, I don't know. I see some lateral marks in the paint on the fork, top tube, and down tube that just might indicate a collision and some bending. The rust on the top tube corresponds to the same spot. To me, the quality of the bike you'd potentially end up with isn't worth the risk.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pratt61799 View Post
    I've never had a single speed before, and would like to have one for the summer; this seems like as good a candidate as any.
    You didn't show a photo of the rear dropouts. I assume you know that you need horizontal dropouts for a single speed bike. Although it's possible to build an SS with vertical dropouts, it introduces other issues, like a chain tension arm, that you don't want to be involved with for this kind of no dough project.

    Quote Originally Posted by ecnewell View Post
    Hmm, I don't know. I see some lateral marks in the paint on the fork, top tube, and down tube that just might indicate a collision and some bending. The rust on the top tube corresponds to the same spot. To me, the quality of the bike you'd potentially end up with isn't worth the risk.
    After enlarging the photo and looking more closely, I see the same pattern of stress cracking in the paint. This almost always indicates a bent tube. Take a very careful look at the bottom of the down tube up hear the head joint. If you see the least hint of a ripple, or buckle, don't bother and look for a better junker.

    It isn't that the bike will be unsafe, as it could probably last a long time before cracking, if ever. Rather it's because the collision that bent might have also thrown it off line, and there's enough better free stuff out there that you needn't bother with a bent frame.
    Last edited by FBinNY; 05-13-12 at 10:15 PM.
    FB
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    Hmm, I don't know. I see some lateral marks in the paint on the fork, top tube, and down tube that just might indicate a collision and some bending. The rust on the top tube corresponds to the same spot. To me, the quality of the bike you'd potentially end up with isn't worth the risk.
    Right, it's the pattern of the paint chipping and paint cracking that had me worried, not the rust. If I saw those lines on an aluminum frame, I'd toss it. On a steel frame, I'm not so sure. (Which is why I'm asking...)

    Is there any way to know for sure if the frame has been weakened? Like I said, I did some string-and-ruler measurements and can't find anything out of line. Is it just a matter of keeping an eye on it, and making sure no cracks develop? Or am I putting myself at risk of having the bike fall apart under me the first time I hit a pothole?

    You didn't show a photo of the rear dropouts. I assume you know that you need horizontal dropouts for a single speed bike.
    Yes - dropouts are horizontal. Should be easy to put it together, though there's always a surprise or two. Not looking for anything fancy, obviously!
    Last edited by pratt61799; 05-13-12 at 10:15 PM.

  8. #8
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    It's steel, so you needn't concern yourself with sudden failure.

    If the bike is actually straight, I'd say it's been bent back into shape; I can't imagine such paint damage without noticeably bending the tubes.

    But anyway, it'll be fine.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pratt61799 View Post
    Is there any way to know for sure if the frame has been weakened? Like I said, I did some string-and-ruler measurements and can't find anything out of line. Is it just a matter of keeping an eye on it, and making sure no cracks develop? Or am I putting myself at risk of having the bike fall apart under me the first time I hit a pothole?
    Steel frames of this type are very ductile and there's no appreciable loss of strength from this type of bend. It may eventually fail but it'll take a very long time, so that shouldn't be a worry. A deeply etched rust spot is more of a concern from a structural standpoint than the bend is.
    FB
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  10. #10
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    Looks like a mild collision to me from the striations in the paint. I'd still ride it though. Would be disinclined to put money into it.
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  11. #11
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    Sounds like the jury is in. It might ride like a buffalo, but it's not going to kill you Show some pictures of it built up, if you get there. I'm curious now.

  12. #12
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    Great - thank you everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by ecnewell View Post
    Sounds like the jury is in. It might ride like a buffalo, but it's not going to kill you Show some pictures of it built up, if you get there. I'm curious now.
    I have no intention of making it pretty! But yes, when I get around to putting it together, I'll post a photo. My guess is it'll look like a $50 Craigslist junker unless for some reason I really end up liking it, in which case I'll deal with all the rust and make it a bit nicer. It's my first little bike project of the summer, and I've never ridden a singlespeed, so just getting my feet wet with this one.

    It may end up being wobbly or out of line in some way that I wasn't able to measure beforehand, of course. The whole thing's a learning experience for me, so that may end up being the best result in the end, long-term: it'll teach me not to waste my time with frames in this condition. But I've got lots of time off this time of year, so I think it'll be worth it either way.
    Last edited by pratt61799; 05-14-12 at 09:57 AM.

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